The eight new focus areas respond to emerging demand from countries, according to the report for the Development Committee, Accelerating Development Outcomes in Africa: Progress and Change in the Africa Action Plan.
Many countries would like to develop or are developing national strategies for health, energy, water, education, private sector development and other crucial areas. Part of the Bank’s role is helping to match country plans and strategies with appropriate financing, deal with new development partners, and adapt global or regional programs, such as malaria or AIDS programs, to country-specific circumstances, says the report.
“One of the Bank’s most useful roles is helping to mobilize others to help finance these programs in countries, ” says Page.
The Bank’s strategy will vary from country to country. Mineral-rich countries will receive analytic and advisory assistance to help them manage revenues from natural resources and invest them to sustain prosperity.
In slow-growing countries, where more than a third of Africans live, the Bank’s most effective role is often helping to develop core government functions and mobilize donor support, the report says. The Bank’s impact would likely be most felt in human development, such as improving education and health systems, and in basic infrastructure such as water and roads.
The costs of conflict and recent post-conflict countries are borne beyond their borders, says the report. The Bank can help by supporting their efforts to build capacity in the government to deliver services and establish a viable state. .
Action Plan Achievements
Provided 1.7 million people with access to safe water
Built systems to irrigate 15,524 hectares of farmland
Trained 86,116 teachers and built 46,058 classrooms between 2002 and 2006
Reached 173 million people with HIV prevention messages
Provided prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV for 1.5 million women.
14 countries agreed to make their extractive industry sector more transparent.
Many faster-growing countries have already reduced poverty. The Bank can help these countries by leveraging IDA funds to attract additional private and public resources to break such constraints to growth as unreliable energy supply or lack of skilled workers.
Such countries can offer clues to solving problems in slower growing countries, says Page. Lessons learned through identifying growth constraints in faster growing economies and finding ways to fix them may be applied in other countries, says Page.
“It’s about understanding what these growth leaders might help us do to accelerate growth more generally in Africa, ” he says.
Their success is “important for them, important for their neighbors, and important for the region as a whole. "